FEMA registration ends June 20

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Less than one week remains to register for disaster assistance for losses suffered during the April 16 tornadoes.

Eligible homeowners, renters and businesses in 19 North Carolina counties – Bertie, Bladen, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Greene, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson, Tyrrell, Wake and Wilson – must register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency by June 20.

That is also the deadline to submit disaster loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  These loans are available to homeowners and renters as well as to businesses and private nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

“While many people are already receiving federal disaster assistance, there may be some who still have not registered because they think they don’t need help,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch.  “We urge you to register and let FEMA determine if you qualify.”

Registering with FEMA can be done online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).  Deaf and hard of hearing callers can use TTY at 800-462-7585.  Smartphone users can go to m.fema.gov. People who have already registered can call the same number for the Helpline if they have questions or additional information to provide.

Before calling or registering online, residents should have in hand:

The address of the affected property;

A brief description of the damages;

A current address where they receive mail

Social Security number;

Insurance information including policy numbers; and

A phone number and an alternate phone number

“If you don’t apply by June 20, federal assistance may not be available for you,” said N.C. Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell. “And don’t forget about the SBA application. If you don’t fill it out all disaster assistance stops.”

FEMA’s housing assistance and Other Needs Assistance grants for medical, dental, and funeral expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA to be considered for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses. Applicants who do not qualify for an SBA loan may be eligible to receive Other Needs Assistance grants for these items.

The SBA Disaster Customer Service Center toll-free number is 800-659-2955. Help is also available by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or by going online at www.sba.gov . Loan applications can be made online at SBA’s secure website: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

For more information about this disaster, go to www.nccrimecontrol.org and click on the red “April Tornadoes” tab. More information is also available at www.fema.gov.